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The Nightmare Before Christmas 20th Anniversary

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The Nightmare Before Christmas

The Nightmare Before Christmas (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Just in time for Halloween and Christmas, Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas celebrates its twentieth anniversary. Originally released in 1993, the film follows Jack Skellington The Pumpkin King and the inhabitants of Halloweentown as they try to put their own twist on Christmas.

As a huge Tim Burton fan, this is my favorite film he’s done. However, my love for the film didn’t start with the film. It started with a little video game called Kingdom Hearts Ii.

The world of The Nightmare Before Christmas is one of many Disney worlds featured in the game. Needless to say, it became my favorite one.

It was creepy and cool at the same time because you could enter Halloweentown and Christmastown to fight Heartless (one of the evil creatures of the game). Also, the special move that Jack and Sora do when they fight together is awesome.

Aside from the gameplay, I grew to love the characters. Jack was creepy yet fun, Sally was creepy yet caring, and Oogie was creepy and fun to fight against. Sometime before I beat the game, I saw The Nightmare Before Christmas for the first time and really enjoyed it.

One of my favorite things about the movie is how Tim Burton combined the two most fun holidays of the year together. It makes the movie great for kids and kids at heart.

The other thing I loved about the movie was its soundtrack. Danny Elfman proves himself not only as an excellent composer, but also an excellent singer.  In the film, he does the singing voice of Jack Skellington.

The soundtrack was so well done that musicians and rock bands decided to do their own version of it.  Entitled Nightmare Revisited, the album features musicians such as The Vitamin String Quartet, Marilyn Manson, and Amy Lee. My personal favorite song is Amy Lee’s cover of “Sally’s Song”.

Recently, Danny Elfman has been performing songs from the original soundtrack live at the Royal Albert Hall. I’ve seen four performances via a Rolling Stone magazine article and YouTube.  It’s hard to believe these are Elfman’s first performances in eighteen years.

Happy anniversary, Nightmare Before Christmas!

Here is Danny Elfman performance of “Jack’s Obsession” live from Royal Albert Hall

Movie Review: Frankenweenie (2012)

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Source: Wikipedia

Plot Summary (Taken from IMDB): Young Victor conducts a science experiment to bring his beloved dog Sparky back to life, only to face unintended  consequences.

My Review: One of the best things about this movie is the creative plot. It fuses Frankenstein and other types of monsters together. Seeing them come to life in this movie is entertaining and a good homage to certain film genres.

Another aspect of the movie deserving praise is the film’s score. Danny Elfman has done well scoring previous Tim Burton films and this one is just as good as the others. It makes certain moments in the film more emotionally palpable.  Like the film’s plot, the music is reminiscent of classic black and white horror films.

When it comes to the flaws, one of them is the human characters. Other than having some of them being influenced by characters from Frankenstein, they are flat. While the animals in the film make up for the slack, it makes one wish they were the main characters instead.

The worse flaw in the film is the ending. Even if it is a Disney film, it could have a good lesson for kids about death. In fact, Tim Burton could have paid homage to one or two of his own films if he had thought about it more.

All in all, this is not one of Burton’s best films, but it is also not his worst.  It is a cute film perfect for families.

Written by Serena Zola

October 3, 2013 at 7:57 PM

Album Review: Imaginaerum

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U.S. Release Date: January 10th, 2012

Six years after their first album with new singer Anette Olzon, the Finnish symphonic metal band Nightwish is back with Imaginaerum. According to the band’s website, the album was inspired by various composers such as Hans Zimmer, film director Tim Burton, and author Neil Gaiman.  This album definitely has the feel of all three and then some, guiding the listener through a wonderful and dark fantasy world. Some people think that Anette Olzon’s vocals aren’t as good as former singer Tarja Turunen. If you give the ballad “Turn Loose the Mermaids” a listen, then you might change your mind. Of course, she’s not the only one singing on this album. Marco Hietala, the bassist, also lends his deep and powerful voice to the Finnish song “Taikatalvi” as well as some other tracks. Another notable track is “Song of Myself”. At thirteen minutes, it is the longest song on the album and for good reason. It was inspired by poet Walt Whitman and his poem Song of Myself, and not only includes vocals but spoken word poems as well. Overall, this is a fantastic album.

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